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Team Building - Activity of the Month
March 2010 - Noodle Relay

This is another low-level initiative that can be done just about anywhere. This is a great activity to get a group moving. It does generate a real sense of competition. If you are not wanting the group to compete, you may not want this activity on your agenda. However, if you want to stimulate discussion about the pros and cons of competition, this will definitely set the stage by creating competition. 

The props are simple. Use swimming pool noodles that have been cut to half-length. You need approximately as many half-noodles as you have team members. 
Break the group into team of from five to ten members.
You have probably seen relays where the team members have to move/run together with a balloon sandwiched between every two members. This relay is similar. Rather than the balloon, you use the noodle. I like this for a couple of reasons:
  • Members are a little farther apart, which is safer. There is less chance of people stepping on each others heals and tripping.
  • Members are a little farther apart, which is more comfortable if you have both genders participating in the relay.
 Set up the relay with the following rules/instructions: 
  • The first member goes to the pylon and returns
  • The next leg involves the first member plus a second team member. They must go to the pylon and back while keeping a noodle held between their bodies lengthwise.
  •  No hands are allowed to keep the noodle in place.
  • Each additional leg adds a member and a noodle so that you have a chain of members that are moving with noodles held between their bodies. (Again, no hands are allowed.)
 Obviously, as the length of the chain of team members grows, so does the complexity.
This activity is a lot of fun, but is can also lead to some productive learning and discussion.
  • Pylons or similar markers for you start and finish lines
  • Half-length swimming pool noodles
  • Be concerned with groups trying to run to fast, creating a hazardous situatio
  • You can control group speed with a couple of additional rules if necessary
  • Walking fast is allowed. Running is not allowed.
  • You may not lift your feet from the floor/ground. (This forces team members to slide their feet, preventing running.)
  • Make sure your area is free of tripping hazards.
Teamwork is required
  • How did you organize?
  • How did teamwork evolve as you continued the exercise?
  • How was teamwork important to success?
Competition, both positive and negative, is a great processing topic
  • Describe the sense of competitiveness that occurred.
  • When is competition important in our work?
  • Does competition ever hurt our effort at work?  Describe how
Learning skills together is a great processing possibility
  • How did you learn together as a team?
  • When, in your real work, is learning together important?
  • How can you enhance learning within your team?
Cooperation and support for each other
  • How were your levels of cooperation as you went?
  • How do you build and nurtured cooperation and support in your team?
Communication and developing a successful process
  • Describe your communication processes.
  • How did success in communication help you to create a successful process in the relay?
  • What kinds of communication challenges to you face as a team at work?

This is a fun, yet powerful activity.  It can be done indoors or out. 


February 2010 - Name That Team
2/1/2010 8:35:50 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

ice breaker

Ice Breakers are simple activities that can be used to kick off any number of events or meetings (even parties).  Here is one that is just-in-time for the upcoming Super Bowl.

Name That Team

You can have participants work at it individually, or in pairs or small groups to facilitate some teamwork. (Courtesy of Christopher Bissonnette in San Diego, CA. Thanks Christopher!)
Objective: Solve each phrase, determining the NFL team that it represents.
Pope’s men                         __________                 Range Riders              __________
Lilliput Adversaries                __________                Winged Patriots          __________
Rash Results                       __________                 Winter Sleepers          __________
King of Beasts                     __________                 The Moving Crew         __________
Six Rulers                           __________                  Mountain Dwellers      __________
One Dollar per Corn Cob       __________                  Royal Birds                __________
Heaven’s League                  __________                  Seven Squared           __________
Halloween Feline                  __________                  Debits                        __________
Derby Hopefuls                     __________                  Barbie’s Swimwear      __________
Minute Men                          __________                  Frequent Flyers           __________
Poe’s Bird                            __________                  Derrick Climbers          __________
Iron Workers                         __________                  Wild Steed                  __________
Tribe Elders                           __________                 Exterminators              __________
Visa Experts                          __________               
Third Letter Bird of Prey           __________
Her Royal Majesty’s Motor Car __________
Asian Mountain Predator          __________




Name That Team, (answers)
This activity can be a fun ice breaker for a variety of types of meetings and functions. You can have participants work at it individually, or in pairs or small groups to facilitate some teamwork. (Courtesy of Christopher Bissonnette in San Diego, CA. Thanks Christopher!)
Objective: Solve each phrase, determining the NFL team that it represents.
Pope’s men                            Cardinals                    Range Riders              Cowboys
Lilliput Adversaries                   Giants                        Winged Patriots          Eagles
Rash Results                           Redskins                   Winter Sleepers           Bears
King of Beasts                         Lions                          The Moving Crew         Packers
Six Rulers                               Vikings                        Mountain Dwellers       Rams
One Dollar per Corn Cob           Buccaneers                  Royal Birds                 Falcons
Heaven’s League                      Saints                          Seven Squared            49’ers
Halloween Feline                      Panthers                      Debits                         Bills
Derby Hopefuls                         Colts                           Barbie’s Swimwear      Dolphins
Minute Men                              Patriots                        Frequent Flyers           Jets
Poe’s Bird                                Ravens                         Derrick Climbers         Oilers
Iron Workers                            Steelers                        Wild Steed                  Broncos
Tribe Elders                             Chiefs                           Exterminators              Raiders
Visa Experts                            Chargers                    
Third Letter Bird of Prey             Seahawks
Her Royal Majesty’s Motor Car   Jaguars
Asian Mountain Predator            Bengals 





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